The Old Oaken Bucket was carried off the Memorial Stadium field Saturday and not in the hands of the team that brought it there.
Now, IU is reliant on winter sports to pick up the fall slack if it hopes to take back the lead in the battle for the Crimson and Gold Cup.
For only the third time in the series, IU trails Purdue after the fall season, 3-2. In 2006, IU trailed Purdue, which led to the Boilermakers winning the Cup for the first and only time.
The next time the two schools meet will be Jan. 19, 2012, when the women’s basketball teams compete in Bloomington.
The Hoosiers have proven it will be another tough season, as they have again struggled to put together 40 minutes of solid basketball. The Hoosiers’ three losses were to teams with an aggregate 10-6 record, none of which match the competition they will face the rest of the season.
No. 13 Purdue, on the other hand, has looked very impressive thus far. It has already defeated three teams that competed in the NCAA tournament a year ago. The Boilermakers will also play defending champion Texas A&M and runner-up Notre Dame.
Unless IU finds a way to win games fast, Purdue’s preseason schedule will have the team ready to win both matchups against IU. The Boilermakers look too tough for the young Hoosiers, who are still rebuilding their program. (Purdue leads 4-2)
Swimming and diving
Both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will take to the pool Jan. 21 in Bloomington. The early season success for both teams will make for an interesting matchup when the two schools meet for the only time.
The IU women will rely on senior Alyssa Vavra, who continues to solidify herself as one of the best swimmers of all time for IU, while the men will look for the continued success of junior diver Zac Nees.
Even with the tough schedule IU has prepared for, I look for both the men and women to claim victories against Purdue and even the series. (Tied at 4)
The men’s basketball teams will meet on the hardwood for the first of two matchups Feb. 4 in West Lafayette.
The addition of freshman Cody Zeller to IU and the return of senior Robbie Hummel from injury at Purdue will bring a lot of excitement that has been absent the past three seasons.
It is always a big game when these two teams meet, but each team will capitalize on its home crowd. IU has struggled on the road in the Big Ten, and I am afraid it will do so at Purdue again this year.
The two teams will win at home and split the series. (Tied at 4.5)
The last winter matchup will be when the wrestling teams meet for senior day Feb. 5 at University Gym.
Last season, IU struggled in the Big Ten but looks to continue rebuilding this season with its young talent.
IU has been impressive thus far, as it had four weight classes go undefeated this past weekend in the Hoosier Duals. IU cannot show its inexperience as it did in a few areas last weekend.
As the Hoosiers continue to get better, their schedule will get tougher.
Both IU and Purdue received votes in the latest polls, and both have very young teams.
It is too early to make a solid prediction, but look for sophomore Mitchell Richey and senior Matt Ortega to continue to be solid wrestlers and lead the Hoosiers. I am going out on a limb early and predicting that IU takes the last point up for grabs. (IU leads 5.5-4.5)
It is still very early in the 2011-12 edition of the Crimson and Gold Cup competition, and it is undoubtedly a daunting uphill battle for the cream and crimson to take the lead heading into the spring final stretch.
Although the Old Oaken Bucket heads north for the year, do not expect this trophy to go anywhere if the Hoosiers can pull it together this winter.